4. Finance, Minister—Statements
[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]
4. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE (Labour—New Lynn) to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by all the statements he made on TVNZ’s Q+A programme on Sunday, 5 April 2009?
Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance) : Yes.
Hon David Cunliffe: Does the Minister stand by his comment that “the national cycleway is not going to happen in a hurry,” and that he “won’t be spending $50 million on it this year, or next year, or the year after.”? Will he now concede that the 4,000 jobs the Prime Minister promised the cycleway would create are unrealistic and that as a response to the recession it has already failed?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: Yes, and no.
Hon David Cunliffe: Is the reason the Minister will not commit to funding cycleways—cycling from cloud to cloud—that it is too expensive, and will he confirm that this silver bullet from the Job Summit has become a “hug a polar bear” initiative: nice to have, but a luxury we can no longer afford?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Minister is wrong about that; there will be funding—
Hon Members: Oh, oh!
Hon BILL ENGLISH: The fortunately former Minister is wrong about that; there will be funding for a national cycleway.